Substitute Senate Bill No. 327

Public Act No. 00-53

An Act Concerning Technical Revisions To Utility Laws.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (f) of section 16-2a of the general statutes, as amended by section 4 of public act 99-286, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(f) As used in this section, "consumer" means any person, city, borough or town, that receives service from any public service company, electric supplier or from any certified telecommunications provider in this state whether or not such person, [company, limited liability company, corporation, association,] city, borough or town is financially responsible for such service.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 16-18a of the general statutes, as amended by section 7 of public act 99-286, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) In the performance of their duties the Department of Public Utility Control and the Office of Consumer Counsel may retain consultants to assist their [staff] staffs in proceedings before the department by providing expertise in areas in which staff expertise does not currently exist or when necessary to supplement existing staff expertise. In any case where the department or Office of Consumer Counsel determines that the services of a consultant are necessary or desirable, the department shall (1) allow opportunity for the parties and participants to the proceeding for which the services of a consultant are being considered to comment regarding the necessity or desirability of such services, (2) upon the request of a party or participant to the proceeding for which the services of a consultant are being considered, hold a hearing, and (3) limit the reasonable and proper expenses for such services to not more than two hundred thousand dollars for each agency per proceeding involving a public service company, telecommunications company, electric supplier or person seeking certification to provide telecommunications services pursuant to chapter 283, with more than fifteen thousand customers, and to not more than fifty thousand dollars for each agency per proceeding involving such a company, electric supplier or person with less than fifteen thousand customers, provided the department or the Office of Consumer Counsel may exceed such limits for good cause. In the case of multiple proceedings conducted to implement the provisions of this section and sections 16-1, 16-19, 16-19e, 16-22, 16-247a to 16-247c, inclusive, 16-247e to 16-247i, inclusive, 16-247k and subsection (e) of 16-331, the department or the Office of Consumer Counsel may exceed such limits, but the total amount for all such proceedings shall not exceed the aggregate amount which would be available pursuant to this section. All reasonable and proper expenses, as defined in subdivision (3) of this section, shall be borne by the affected company, electric supplier or person and shall be paid by such company, electric supplier or person at such times and in such manner as the department or the Office of Consumer Counsel directs. All reasonable and proper costs and expenses, as defined in subdivision (3) of this section, shall be recognized by the department for all purposes as proper business expenses of the affected company, electric supplier or person. The providers of consultant services shall be selected by the department or the Office of Consumer Counsel and shall submit written findings and recommendations to the department or the Office of Consumer Counsel, as the case may be, which shall be made part of the public record.

Sec. 3. Subsection (b) of section 16-50c of the general statutes, as amended by section 22 of public act 99-225, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) On or before January 1, 1998, and on or before January first of each year thereafter, any private, nonprofit land-holding organization may provide in writing to the Department of Public Utility Control its mailing address and a list of the municipalities in this state in which such organization may own land or any municipality adjacent to such municipalities which address is suitable for the purpose of receiving notice of the sale, lease or other disposition of water company land as provided in this section. On or before February 1, 1998, and on or before February first of each year thereafter, said department shall publish and make available to every water company, as defined in section 16-1, a list setting forth for the Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, the Land Trust Service Bureau and each private, nonprofit land-holding organization which has provided such information, such organization's mailing address and the municipalities in which such organization may own land and the adjacent municipalities. Such list shall be valid until January thirty-first of the following calendar year. Information contained on such list shall be carried forward on each succeeding year's list unless a change in such information, or the discontinuation of such information on such list, is requested by the entity which submitted it and any changes in, or discontinuation of, information to be incorporated in the following year's list shall be submitted to the Department of Public Utility Control on or before January first for inclusion on the list to be published on February first. Whenever, one hundred twenty days after July 1, 1998, any water company, as defined in section 16-1, owning any contiguous area of real property containing three acres or more, intends to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of such land, or a portion thereof, such company shall, not later than ninety days prior to offering such land for sale or otherwise negotiating with or notifying any other potential purchaser, or any agent of a potential purchaser, (1) notify in writing, by certified mail, return receipt requested, the Department of Public Utility Control, the Commissioner of Public Health, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, any water company, as defined in section 25-32a, with an existing or potential source of supply or service area in any municipality in which such land is situated, any water company, as defined in said section 25-32a, with an existing or potential source of supply or service area in a contiguous municipality, the chief executive officer or officers of the municipality in which such land is situated, the Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, the Land Trust Service Bureau and any private, nonprofit land-holding organization set forth on the list published annually by the Department of Public Utility Control pursuant to this section which organization has indicated to the department that it may own land in the municipality in which the land is located or in an adjacent municipality provided such notice shall inform recipients of information pertaining to the acreage and location of the land to be sold, leased, or otherwise disposed of and such notice shall state that additional information, including a map of the property, [are] is available at the company and further provided, for any application submitted to the Department of Public Utility Control for disposition of such land within two years after such ninety-day period, no further notice shall be required, and (2) provide further public notice by causing a notice to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipalities where such water company land is situated not more than forty-five days nor less than thirty days before and not more than thirty days after filing an application for approval with the department of such intention to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of such land. Such public notice shall be published in a display form that shall serve substantially to notify the public of the availability of the property and shall be published in print no smaller than ten-point type size. If a recipient of notice under this subsection enters into a contract to purchase such land, the closing on the sale shall take place not later than twelve months after the contract is entered into unless the period for closing is extended by mutual agreement of the parties to the contract. No agreement to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of such land may be entered into by such water company except as provided in this section. Any private, nonprofit land-holding organization which is considering acquiring the interest in the land which the water company intends to sell, lease or dispose of, must identify itself as a potential acquirer by giving written notice to the Department of Public Utility Control and to the water company by certified mail, return receipt requested, not more than ninety days after the water company files an application for approval. The department shall approve or disapprove the disposition of such property pursuant to subsection (a) of section 16-43 not more than one hundred fifty days after its receipt of an application for such sale, lease or other disposition pursuant to this subsection and failure to take action within such period shall be deemed to constitute approval. The department shall hold a hearing on all such land transactions in which the acquisition cost of the parcels involved or the transfer consideration is in excess of fifty thousand dollars. The hearing shall be held in the municipality where such land is located. If such land is located in more than one municipality the department shall determine in which municipality the hearing shall be held. If the hearing is scheduled for more than one day or continues for more than one day the department may reconvene the hearing at the offices of the department. An application shall not be filed with the department until the Commissioner of Public Health issues a permit pursuant to section 25-32. The municipality in which such land is situated shall be a party to all proceedings before the department involving such land brought pursuant to sections 16-50b to 16-50e.

Sec. 4. Subsection (a) of section 8 of public act 99-222 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Not later than January 1, [2000] 2001, the Department of Public Utility Control shall, in conjunction with the Office of Consumer Counsel, implement a comprehensive public education outreach program to educate customers about the implementation of competition among certified telecommunications providers, as defined in section 16-1, as amended, providing intrastate telecommunications services. The goals of the program shall be to maximize public information, minimize customer confusion and enable all customers to participate in a competitive environment. The program shall include, but not be limited to: (1) Dissemination of information through mass media, interactive approaches and written materials with the goal of reaching every telephone customer; (2) conduct of public forums in different geographical areas of the state to foster public input and provide opportunities for an exchange of questions and answers; (3) involvement of community-based organizations in developing messages and in devising and implementing education strategies; (4) targeted efforts to reach rural, low income, elderly, foreign language, disabled, ethnic minority and other traditionally underserved populations; and (5) periodic evaluations of the effectiveness of educational efforts. The department shall assign one individual within the department to coordinate the outreach program and oversee the education process. Reasonable costs incurred by the department to develop and implement the education outreach program shall be recovered from certified telecommunications providers and telephone companies other than telephone companies serving fewer than seventy-five thousand customers in the manner provided in section 16-49.

Sec. 5. Subsection (a) of section 6 of public act 99-222 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Department of Public Utility Control shall, after consultation with the Office of Consumer Counsel, retain a consultant for the purpose of overseeing the testing of a telephone company's interface into its operations support systems, as set forth in subsection (a) of section 4 of [this act] public act 99-222, and attempting to resolve expeditiously any disputes that arise among interested parties. The costs of the consultant shall be recovered from certified telecommunications providers and telephone companies using such operations support systems in the manner provided in section 16-49. The contract with such consultant shall include provisions for the testing of operations support systems and shall require the consultant to recommend adequate performance standards and appropriate methodologies of operations support systems testing, that may include, but are not limited to, the use of an artificial telecommunications provider, and to implement whatever testing methodology is selected for use. The department shall select a testing methodology through a process that provides an opportunity for input from any certified telecommunications provider that uses such operations support systems, the applicable telephone company and the Office of Consumer Counsel. Such a contract shall also provide for status reports as required by the department.

Sec. 6. Subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of section 16-256b of the general statutes, as amended by section 10 of public act 99-286, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) (1) Each domestic telephone company having at least one hundred thousand customers shall pay into a Special Telecommunications Equipment Fund twenty thousand dollars not later than July 1, 1992. The fund shall be administered by the Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired. The Department of Public Utility Control shall include all payments made by a company into [such a] said fund as operating expenses of the company for purposes of rate-making under section 16-19.

Sec. 7. Section 16-280d of the general statutes, as amended by section 5 of public act 99-31, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Department of Public Utility Control shall require of any person [who] that owns any pipeline facilities or [who] that engages in the transportation of gas or maintains pipeline facilities within the state to maintain such records, make such reports and provide such inspections as are required by the federal act or by any regulation adopted by the department pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of section 16-280b. The department may require the filing of such information as is necessary to determine compliance with applicable standards and regulations.

Sec. 8. Subsection (a) of section 16-280e of the general statutes, as amended by section 6 of public act 99-31, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any person [who] that violates any provision of the federal act, any regulation issued under the federal act, any provision of this chapter or any regulation adopted by the department pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of section 16-280b, shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars for each such violation for each day that such violation persists, except that the maximum civil penalty under section 16-17 or 16-271 or this section shall not exceed five hundred thousand dollars for any related series of violations.

Sec. 9. Subsection (a) of section 16a-22d of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 99-16, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) (1) Any person that is engaged in the wholesale or retail sale, or both, of petroleum products in this state or [any person engaged] in the wholesale sale of petroleum products for consumption in this state and [who] that sells at least one million gallons of such products annually or any person that is engaged in the operation of a petroleum product storage terminal or petroleum product pipeline shall register with the secretary not later than September thirtieth of each year or not later than thirty days of commencing operations in the state by such person, whichever is later.

(2) Any person that is engaged in the wholesale or retail sale, or both, of petroleum products in this state or [any person engaged] in the wholesale sale of petroleum products for consumption in this state and [who] that sells at least five thousand but less than one million gallons of such products annually shall register with the secretary, if so requested by the secretary, not more than thirty days after such request. The secretary shall not require such registration more than once in any twelve-month period.

(3) Such registration shall be on a form prescribed or furnished by the secretary and shall require the registrant, subject to the penalty for false statement under section 53a-157b, to provide the following information: (A) The name, mailing address and telephone number of the registrant; (B) the name, mailing address and telephone number of any company with which the registrant is affiliated, and whether any such affiliated company is engaged in the wholesale or retail sale, or both, or the delivery into or storage of petroleum products in this state or another state, or both; (C) whether the registrant engages in wholesale operations, retail operations, or both, or the delivery into or storage of petroleum products and whether the registrant engages in sales to residential customers; (D) any other names and places of business used by the registrant to conduct business; and (E) any further information which the secretary may request pursuant to this title.

Sec. 10. Public Act 99-29 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Each electric company, [as defined in section 16-1,] each municipal electric utility established under chapter 101 and each electric utility owned, leased, maintained, operated, managed or controlled by any unit of local government under any general statute or special act shall, upon request, provide electricity and each electric distribution company [, as defined in said section 16-1,] shall, upon request, provide electric distribution services [, as defined in said section 16-1,] to military veterans' posts and organizations that are exempt from federal taxation under Section [501(c)(19)] 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as from time to time amended, at the lesser of the residential or commercial rate for the service territory in which the facility is located, provided such rates are not inconsistent with said chapter 101 or any municipal charter or ordinance adopted pursuant thereto, or with any such special act.

Sec. 11. Subsection (a) of section 16-1 of the general statutes is amended by adding subdivision (38) as follows:

(NEW) (38) "Gas registrant" means a person registered to sell natural gas pursuant to section 16-258a.

Sec. 12. Subdivision (31) of subsection (a) of section 16-1 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 99-222 and section 1 of public act 99-286, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(31) "Electric aggregator" means (A) a person, [or a] municipality or regional water authority that gathers together electric customers for the purpose of negotiating the purchase of electric generation services from an electric supplier or (B) the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, if it gathers together electric customers for the purpose of negotiating the purchase of electric generation services from an electric supplier, provided such person, municipality or authority is not engaged in the purchase or resale of electric generation services, and provided further such customers contract for electric generation services directly with an electric supplier, and may include an electric cooperative established pursuant to chapter 597.

Sec. 13. Subsection (b) of section 16-245 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) On and after January 1, 2000, no person, [and] no municipality and no regional water authority shall sell or attempt to sell electric generation services to end use customers located in the state using the transmission or distribution facilities of an electric distribution company, as defined in section 16-1, and no municipality, [or] no regional water authority and the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority except as provided in section 16-245b, as amended by this act, and no person shall aggregate, broker or market the sale of electric generation services to end use customers using the transmission or distribution facilities of an electric distribution company unless the person has been issued a license by the Department of Public Utility Control in accordance with the provisions of this section, provided an electric distribution company is not required to be licensed pursuant to this section to provide electric generation services pursuant to subsection (a) or, prior to January 1, 2004, subsection (c) of section 16-244c. Not later than January 1, 1999, the department shall, by regulations adopted pursuant to chapter 54, develop licensing procedures. The licensing process shall begin not later than April 1, 1999.

Sec. 14. Section 16-245b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of section 16-245, the provisions of said section shall not apply to (1) any municipality or regional water authority that aggregates the sale of electric generation services, or to the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority if such authority aggregates the sale of electric generation services, for end use customers located within the boundaries of such municipality or [to] regional water authority, (2) any municipality that joins together with other municipalities to aggregate the sale of electric generation services for end use customers located within the boundaries of such municipalities, or [to aggregate] (3) any municipality or regional water authority that aggregates the purchase of electric generation services for municipal facilities, street lighting, boards of education and other publicly-owned facilities within (A) the municipality for which the municipality is financially responsible, [provided the] or (B) the municipalities that are within the authorized service area of the regional water authority. Any municipality or regional water authority that aggregates in accordance with this section shall register not less than annually with the Department of Public Utility Control on a form prescribed by the department.

Approved May 16, 2000